Officials with the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit say there have been no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in the community.
“Please be advised that as of March 9, 2020, there have been NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent and the risk level for COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent remains LOW,” Public Health officials posted on their website.
“If and when there is a confirmed case in Chatham-Kent, CK Public Health will notify the community by issuing a formal media release.”
Public Health officials say they are continuously monitoring the situation and proactively working with local, provincial and federal partners to manage and respond effectively as part of the routine public health follow-up in the case of any infectious disease.
Published reports indicate four C-K residents have been monitored for COVID-19, three have been tested and none of the tests came back positive.
Dedicated provincial website will now include twice daily updates on new cases
Provincial officials say as COVID-19 evolves, Ontario is taking further steps to inform the public on the status of the virus across the province.
Ontario has been monitoring and reporting on the development of COVID-19 since initial cases of a viral pneumonia were reported in China in late December 2019.
Every weekday at 10:30 a.m. Ontario has been updating its dedicated web page with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in Ontario, including: the number of cases currently under investigation; and the number of confirmed positive, negative and resolved cases.
To enhance these efforts, the web page will now be updated twice a day (10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. EST), seven days a week.
The web page will also now include general information on each new confirmed case of COVID-19, including gender, age, public health unit, hospital (if applicable), where acquired and status.
The information provided will reflect what has been confirmed by local public health authorities at that time.
This information will be provided in lieu of the news releases the province has been issuing and will be supplemented by additional details provided by individual public health units.
“The health and well-being of the people of Ontario is our top priority,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a press release.
“Although the risk remains low, we are enhancing our reporting protocols as we continue to take decisive steps to protect the public. Ontarians can be fully confident that we are providing the information they need in order to protect themselves and their families.”
Currently, the virus is not circulating locally.
However, given the global circumstances, last week Ontario implemented an enhanced response structure to formally bring together experts across the health sector to provide clinical expertise and experience to implement provincial and regional plans.
This will ensure the province is ready to contain and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition to the daily updates to the website, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 at the regularly scheduled media briefings every Monday and Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Queen’s Park media studio.
Provincial officials say corona viruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
There is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19, but there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.
To find out more visit Ontario’s website, here.
Feds monitoring COVID-19
Health Canada officials say information on demographics, symptoms, and outcomes is available for 65 confirmed cases.
Of these confirmed cases:
– The onset of illnesses occurred between January 15 and March 4, 2020
– 53% of ill individuals are female
– 82% of ill individuals are over the age of 40
– 13% of ill individuals have been hospitalized
– 1 person has died of COVID-19
“The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada,” Federal officials say.
“Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. The risk to Canadian travellers abroad is generally low but will vary depending on the destination. The Public Health Agency of Canada is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in other countries. Please consult the destination page on travel.gc.ca for the latest travel advice.”
Federal officials added: “It is important for all travellers to monitor their health when they return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with the novel coronavirus. PHAC asks that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. If you have these symptoms, call the public health authority in the province or territory you are in to inform them. They will provide advice on what you should do.”
The research and data on COVID-19 continues to grow and evolve.
“We will continue to adapt our advice for travellers based on the latest science available,” Federal officials said.